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News Release


Release No: 645-96
November 16, 1996


Secretary of Defense William J. Perry announced selection of The Boeing Company, Seattle, Wash., and Lockheed Martin Corporation, Bethesda, Md., to build the Joint Strike Fighter aircraft that will demonstrate the capability to meet the needs of the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Royal Navy.

The JSF will fulfill stated service needs. For the U.S. Navy, JSF provides the first-day-of-war, survivable strike fighter aircraft to complement F/A-18E/F aircraft; for the Air Force, JSF provides a multi-role aircraft (primary-air-to-ground) to replace the F-16 and A-10 and to complement the F-22; for the Marine Corps, JSF provides short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft to replace the AV-8B and F/A-18A/C/D; and for the Royal Navy, the JSF provides STOVL aircraft to replace the Sea Harrier.

These concept demonstration efforts are budgeted at $2.2 billion, including propulsion efforts funded under a separate contract. These contracts were awarded today.

This phase will feature flying aircraft demonstrators, ground and flight demonstrations, and continued refinement of each contractor's concept for the next generation strike fighter. The most visible element for the overall concept demonstration will be the flight demonstrators representing the contractors' preferred weapon system concept (PWSC) family of aircraft. Each contractor will build two flying concept demonstrator aircraft (CDA) to demonstrate key critical features of each contractor's concept.

During flight test programs at the Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and the Naval Air Warfare Center, Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Md., the following features will be demonstrated:

  • Common/modularity for an affordable family of multi-service variants
  • Short takeoff, vertical land, hover and transition
  • Low-speed carrier approach flying and handling qualities

Also during execution of the contracts, The Boeing Company and Lockheed Martin Corporation will implement those innovative management and business practices that will focus on achieving affordable unit flyaway costs and reduced life-cycle cost for future production of JSF aircraft.

The source selection culminates a highly successful joint Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Royal Navy process that exhaustively evaluated proposals from all offerors. The entire process was conducted electronically, including issuance of the Request for Proposal and a thorough evaluation of each offeror's proposal. A continuing JSF program goal has been to apply information technologies to facilitate communications, eliminate paper, improve efficiency, and, most importantly, improve affordability in the management and execution of the program.

Milestone II for engineering and manufacturing and development (E&MD) is planned in FY 2001. First delivery of operational aircraft is anticipated in FY 2008.

The JSF program is managed by the program director, Rear Adm. Craig E. Steidle. Additional information in the Joint Strike Fighter program can be obtained electronically at http://www.jsf.mil.

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